Baha’i Month: Kamal/Perfection 1, 172 B.E. (8/1/2015)

Let anyone inclined to doubt the course which this enviable community is destined to follow, turn to and meditate upon these words of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, enshrined, for all time, in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, and addressed to the entire community of the believers of the United States and Canada: “The full measure of your success,” He informs them, “is as yet unrevealed, its significance still unapprehended. Erelong, ye will, with your own eyes, witness how brilliantly every one of you, even as a shining star, will radiate, in the firmament of your country, the light of Divine Guidance, and will bestow upon its people the glory of an everlasting life.… The range of your future achievements still remains undisclosed. I fervently hope that in the near future the whole earth may be stirred and shaken by the results of your achievements. The hope, therefore, which ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá cherishes for you is that the same success which has attended your efforts in America may crown your endeavors in other parts of the world, that through you the fame of the Cause of God may be diffused throughout the East and the West, and the advent of the Kingdom of the Lord of Hosts be proclaimed in all the five continents of the globe.” “The moment,” He most significantly adds, “this Divine Message is carried forward by the American believers from the shores of America, and is propagated throughout the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa, and of Australasia, and as far as the islands of the Pacific, this community will find itself securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion. Then will all the peoples of the world witness that this community is spiritually illumined and divinely guided. Then will the whole earth resound with the praises of its majesty and greatness.”

No reader of these words, so vibrant with promises that not even the triumphant consummation of the Seven Year Plan can fulfill, can expect a community that has been raised so high, and endowed so richly, to remain content with any laurels it may win in the immediate future. To rest upon such laurels would indeed be tantamount to a betrayal of the trust placed in that community by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá. To cut short the chain of victories that must lead it on to that supreme triumph when “the whole earth may be stirred and shaken” by the results of its achievements would shatter His hopes. To vacillate, and fail to “propagate through the continents of Europe, of Asia, of Africa, and of Australasia, and as far as the islands of the Pacific” a Message so magnificently proclaimed by it in the American continent would deprive it of the privilege of being “securely established upon the throne of an everlasting dominion.” To forfeit the honor of proclaiming “the advent of the Kingdom of the Lord of Hosts” in “all the five continents of the globe” would silence those “praises of its majesty and greatness” that otherwise would echo throughout “the whole earth.”

Such vacillation, failure, or neglect, the American believers, the ambassadors of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, will, I am firmly convinced, never permit. Such a trust will never be betrayed, such hopes can never be shattered, such a privilege will never be forfeited, nor will such praises remain unuttered. Nay rather the present generation of this blessed, this repeatedly blessed, community will go from strength to strength, and will hand on, as the first century draws to a close, to the generations that must succeed it in the second the torch of Divine Guidance, undimmed by the tempestuous winds that must blow upon it, that they in turn, faithful to the wish and mandate of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, may carry that torch, with that self-same vigor, fidelity, and enthusiasm, to the darkest and remotest corners of the earth.

Shoghi Effendi, The Advent Of Divine Justice, subsection: ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá’s Assurance of North America’s Destiny

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